Opportunities for future work

A strength of this study is that it links multiple health data sets covering the whole population and explores whether these kinds of datasets can fill known data gaps. This approach enabled the exploration of types of services received across multiple settings of care and when these were initiated and ceased in the last year of life. These types of analyses were previously not possible using single data collections. 

Future analysis could provide insights into patient pathways between GPs and specialists and the quantity/intensity of services received and to what outcome (such as impacts on ED and hospitalisation visits). Undertaking statistical modelling of the data to account for the association of multiple factors on service provision would also assist with the interpretation of the findings in this report. Examining the estimated costs of these services could also be explored in future projects. 

The methodology and analysis in this report will inform the development of other AIHW projects, including reporting on key palliative care measures to track progress against the goals and priorities of the National Palliative Care Strategy.